The incomparable allure of the Caribbean island of Mustique inspires Lotty Bunbury’s imaginative patterns for dresses, caftans, swimsuits, and more.
Lotty Bunbury designs patterns for her Pink House Mustique and Lotty B clothing lines in an aptly named gingerbread cottage on the Caribbean isle. We talked with Bunbury about the island that is her muse.
Q&A with Lotty
What brought you the 4,000 miles from London to Mustique?
LB: We came out 24 years ago when my husband took a job as the island doctor. He thought it might be a bit of fun for a year, but we just stayed and stayed. It was the most idyllic lifestyle for bringing up a family; when my children were small, the island was their playground.
What defines Mustique style?
LB: People dress for comfort—you never see someone in a tie on Mustique! You can put on a pair of heels and a fabulous dress or throw the heels off and dance barefoot in a sarong and bikini. Those two people are at the same party.
How did you start designing clothes?
LB: I had taken some silk and silk paints to Mustique and thought I could paint a few sarongs. That grew into maybe 10 a year—in the early days, I'd hand-paint each one. I set up a little website, and I'd get orders in from people saying, "I'd like a caftan this long and this wide," and I'd paint it up and send it to them.
Where do you find your inspiration?
LB: Nearly all the prints come from something I see on the island. Recently down on Macaroni Beach, my family saw a huge shadow in the water, so we put on our snorkel masks and followed it into the reef. It turned out to be a giant spotted eagle ray, and it was such an amazing sight that I went in that evening and started work on a new ray print right away.
Our Favorite Looks
1. Lotty B Silk Charmeuse Long Scarf in Sand Dollar Repeat Coral, $120
2. Pink House Mustique Men's Trunk in Seagrape Green and Blue, $147
3. Lotty B Kaftan in Shark Grey, $395
4. Pink House Mustique Men's Shirt in Seagrape Blue and Pink, $160
5. Pink House Mustique Women's Linen Dress in Seahorse Blue, $147